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  • Being spammed to death

    I use recaptcha as well as another anti spam mod from vb.org (spam-o-matic) and I'm getting spammed heavily. What steps can I take to prevent these spammers from registering?
    Danny
    My Site ---->www.montrealracing.com

  • #2
    Uninstall those and use the Question and Answer function. Come up with about a dozen questions only people who are actually interested in the content of your site could answer. Make sure you require PCRE regular expressions for the answers. Bots can't answer those questions. I've done this for several clients and they are virtually spam-free.

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    • #3
      That's a good way to kill registration. The questions would have to be so general that anyone could guess.
      Danny
      My Site ---->www.montrealracing.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Q&A *is* the way to go. (Though keep Spam-O-Matic, it's pretty good.) You don't *need* to use regular expressions in the Q&A.

        To enable Q&A go to your Admin CP -> Settings -> Human Verification Manager.

        On the new page choose the option for "Question & Answer Verification."

        If this is the first time you are using it you will need to add one or more questions and answers. To add your first question click on the "Add New Question" near the bottom center of the page.

        On the next page enter a question. Do not make this a math question (what is 2+2?)- Math questions are absolutely worthless. If your forum is about a specific topic try to make the question something someone interested in your niche would likely know. If not still make a question that requires a human to answer- creativity helps here.

        An example question would be: If there are three people in a room how many total toes are likely in the room?

        Leave the box for "Regular Expression" blank. Use it only if you understand Regular Expressions.

        Hit "Save"

        On the next page there will now be a button "Add New Answer" - Press It.

        The next page is one simple box marked "Answer." Enter the answer to the question. Questions can have multiple correct answers.

        Answers are NOT case sensitive so if you put "thirty" in as an answer both "Thirty" and "THIRTY" will also work.

        Enter "thirty" as the answer (without quotes.)

        Save.

        Now you will be back on the page where you can press the "Add New Answer" again, press it.

        This time add the answer: 30
        And hit "Save" again.

        When you believe you have set every possible correct answer you can click on the Admin CP Menu to go back to "Human Verification Manager" and repeat the process to add additional questions.

        The more questions you have the better you will be- five is a good minimum, 10 or more is better.

        In general avoid any questions where the answers may be common among many sites even if the question is different- That is to say no matter how hard the question is if the answer is "3" or "Blue" avoid the question. Spam bots may try common answers even if they can't understand the question just to see if they get lucky. Avoid answers that are low or common numbers, basic colors, and the like.

        We have found forums that implement good Q&A questions stop nearly all "bot" spam. (We have documented drops of a 90% reduction in registrations, all of which were spammers.) There will always be spam created by humans though who cannot be blocked by easy questions.

        MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

        TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
        AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

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        • #5
          Just for what it's worth, on our forum sites we have replaced vBulletin login with a single sign on system (Micro Focus Access Manager) and require all new registrations to verify their email address before they can post. That was the single biggest help in significantly reducing spam (it didn't eliminate it by any means). I've also severely restricted the "Registered Users" group with rights to signatures, modify profiles, etc. until they have posted a couple of times then I have an automatic promotion to a usergroup with more relaxed rights.
          Our forums: http://forums.opensuse.org, http://forums.microfocus.com, http://forums.netiq.com, and http://forums.suse.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DannyITR View Post
            I use recaptcha as well as another anti spam mod from vb.org (spam-o-matic) and I'm getting spammed heavily. What steps can I take to prevent these spammers from registering?
            Using recaptcha you can get tons of spammers, instead of that, using latest captcha from Google and combine with Q&A questions as Mark.B recommended above, so it can decreased spams on your forum.

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            • #7
              I put a ban on all free email accounts, i.e Hotmail, Live, Outlook etc etc... almost killed all the spam registrations I have had.. I tend to find Genuine members contact you to ask "Why is my email address banned" even though I have a message on the home page... Spammers don't ... Worked well for the last couple of years in conjunction with vBstopforumspam.

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              • #8
                Still getting spammed even with the questions. This is killing my forum.
                Danny
                My Site ---->www.montrealracing.com

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                • #9
                  If they're getting through Q&A then the questions aren't good enough.

                  Can you please list all the questions you're using (not the answers though)?
                  MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

                  TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
                  AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

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                  • #10
                    I asked what the name captain of the Montreal Canadiens is. That didn't work so I changed it to one where I asked what is the name of the tunnel to the south shore. That's pretty vague! I didn't even specify the city but it's implied.

                    I've had to just manually approve all registrations.
                    Danny
                    My Site ---->www.montrealracing.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DannyITR View Post
                      I asked what the name captain of the Montreal Canadiens is. That didn't work so I changed it to one where I asked what is the name of the tunnel to the south shore. That's pretty vague! I didn't even specify the city but it's implied.

                      I've had to just manually approve all registrations.
                      You need at least ten different questions. It will then ask a random one each time.

                      You also need to change them all every few months.

                      Having just one means it gets figured out and added to spamming software's databases of question and answer combinations.
                      MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

                      TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
                      AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

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                      • #12
                        Q&A only works for a while. I think you need to keep changing the questions.

                        I require registrants to say where they're from and their interest in the forum. Their answers show up in the registration email, and make spammers obvious - you notice a pattern after a while. Vague answers that make no sense = spammer.

                        Then in the Admin CP's list of users awaiting approval I look for username/email address mismatches. "Fred" at Harold@xyz.com" is a giveaway. I also check evey IP address and currently the spammers all come back as Vietnam, but IPs from Eastern Europe, China, and Russia are 99.99999% spammers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DannyITR View Post
                          Still getting spammed even with the questions. This is killing my forum.
                          I feel for you. Try Google's New Recaptcha it is really working fine for us. https://www.google.com/recaptcha/intro/index.html

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                          • #14
                            There's a much better way. Just install this mod.

                            http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=297834
                            Last edited by Dplax; Sat 10th Sep '16, 3:08pm.

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